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Cost and Value: The Top Tips When Choosing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Every government leaves a legacy, whether this intentional or the adverse consequence of a failed policy. This is certainly true of the reigning Conservative Party, who will most likely be known for their decision to hold a referendum on the EU and their apparent marginalisation of those seeking disability benefits. In fact, the number of people being refused disability benefit reached its highest level for three years in January, after key changes to how applicants were assessed and monitored.

This has had a profound effect on applicants, many of whom have been forced to adopt a more independent and proactive approach to funding their lifestyles.

A good example of this is buying a new car, which will likely be the most expensive purchase you ever make (besides taking out a mortgage on your first home). For a lot of people this is a simple process of researching vehicles online before arranging to see a new car or heading down to the nearest dealer. The same cannot be said for wheelchair users, however, who can find it far more complicated to locate and choose an appropriate wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).

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With some now losing access to their benefits and the subsidising of an accessible vehicle purchase, finding suitable transportation as a disabled citizen has never been harder.

How to Find an Accessible Car for Less

Fortunately, it is possible to source, select and purchase a wheelchair accessible car without government assistance. The key is to understand the market and your precise requirements, while also leveraging some of the favourable financing options available. For example: –

Features to Look For

All WAVs are fitted with a ramp or lift to allow easy access from the back or side of the vehicle. You should decide which method suits you better, such as whether you’ll be able to manually operate the lift if needed. Check there is a three-point seat-belt or other methods to safely secure the wheelchair in the vehicle and that you can easily put these in place. As well as wheelchair modifications, don’t ignore regular car features such as air con, sat navs, efficient engines and what you’d look for in any new or used car.

Make Measurements

In the same way that you should never buy a car without taking it for a test drive, don’t purchase a WAV before trying to fit your wheelchair inside. Take wheelchair measurements and see if they match up, remembering to add your seated height. Depending on where you regularly drive and park the vehicle can affect the model you choose, as some are larger than others.

Types of Accessible Vehicles

There are many different types of wheelchair accessible vehicles available at Allied Mobility, from small, medium and large models that suit different lifestyles and purposes. For example, the Fiat Festival is a mid-sized option suitable for urban driving, while the Volkswagen Vista is that bit larger and will suit taller drivers and passengers. Have a look through all available WAVs and decide on one that matches your needs and style before looking to buy.

Finance Options

When you’ve decided upon an appropriate WAV, the final step will be paying for the car. There are all the regular financing options available, such as leasing, buying outright, hire purchase and more. Joining the Motability Scheme is an advisable decision too, as they can specifically help out those seeking a WAV with financial advice and sorting out issues. So consider all of these tips when it comes to looking for a brand new or used wheelchair accessible vehicle.

 

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Lewis

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erenalal1986@yahoo.com'
November 10, 2016
0

Thank you for sharing this Lewis. This article was very helpful. I plan on buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle for my family because I live with my disabled son. Like what you’ve mentioned, looking for accessible transportation for persons with disabilities can be hard. It was a good thing that you pointed out that this was still possible even if we choose not to ask assistance from the government. I agree with your points especially about the checking of car features like the ramp or lift. I also liked that you reminded people to make a measurement before buying the car. All in all, everything you’ve pointed out was very helpful. Thank you!

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